The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater

Written by Jaime Jo Wright
Review by J. Lynn Else

The Barlowe Theater is haunted. There are rumors of “lost boys” who went missing one night in 1915, and a ghostly apparition of a woman in white. Now it seems history is repeating itself when Kit’s closest friend goes missing while leading TV show hosts through the bowels of the theater. In this dual-timeline Christian fiction mystery, two women will risk everything for answers. For Kit, it’s her missing friend; for Greta, it’s the mystery of her brother’s disappearance within Barlowe Theater. Greta is on the brink of being sent to the poorhouse with her younger brothers. She struggles against a society that only sees her low-class station while trying to keep her family together and searching for her missing brother, which puts her at odds with the town’s wealthiest resident and theater owner: Mr. Barlowe.

Jaime Jo Wright has an impressive resume when it comes to writing compelling dual-timeline tales of women overcoming obstacles. In this book, Wright leans heavily on paranormal elements, conjuring up plenty of chillingly spooky moments in the narrative. The timeline-specific stories blend seamlessly together as two women search for those they love.

While typically Wright’s stories suck me in quickly, I found the character of Kit frustrating. She has wounds she is dealing with, which keep me rooting for her. At the same time, she’s constantly running into unnecessary risks and doesn’t listen to those around her or consider different points of view. She makes the same mistakes and gains little information.

Overall, this is a compelling story of class division, family secrets, and trust. There are so many twists and turns, it will keep readers at the edge of their seats. And if you love a good haunted theater yarn, look no further.